Tragedy created us but honor, empathy, and hope sustain us.

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Founder's Family

On September 30, 2015, Officer Gregory Alia of the Forest Acres Police Department in Columbia, South Carolina, was shot and killed in the line of duty, leaving behind Kassy, his wife of three years, and their six-month-old son, Sal.

Heartbroken and grief stricken, Kassy knew she would have to find a way to carry on, as well as a way to honor Greg’s memory. It wasn’t until she faced the man who killed her husband that her anger and pain turned to empathy, and eventually, motivation.

She began to wonder what neighborhoods and communities facing hopelessness might look like if residents and police officers stood together rather than apart. It was in that moment that her passion for creating change was born, along with the nonprofit she boldly leads in honor of her late husband.

Serve & Connect is honoring Greg’s legacy by working tirelessly and passionately at the intersection of community policing and community engagement.

“Greg always told me that for every negative story reported about a police officer and a community member, there were thousands of positive stories that went untold.”

– Kassy Alia Ray